Siding Solutions: How to Find the Right Siding for Your Home
Siding Solutions: How to Find The Right Siding For Your Home
Thanks to new technology and ultra-efficient manufacturing methods, there have never been more options for business- and homeowners looking for siding. There was once a time when vinyl was the only practical choice for most homes. Although it’s still a popular option that provides weather-resistance and support at a reasonable price, other materials are starting to replace vinyl as the go-to residential siding.
If you’ve never purchased siding before, you probably have a lot of questions, like: What’s the best siding for my home? What material requires the least maintenance? This article will help you answer these questions by profiling some of the most popular siding options.
Fiber Cement vs. Vinyl Siding
Fiber cement and vinyl siding aren’t the only options available, but they are two of the most popular. Although vinyl still dominates the market, fiber cement offers a unique look, wide reveal and a sturdy feel. Also, you can paint cement siding any color. This is perfect for homeowners who like to change it up periodically. Keep in mind: Fiber cement comes with a bit more maintenance requirements. Caulking repair and repainting are routine for keeping the siding strong and attractive.
When fiber cement first hit the market and began garnering attention from builders, vinyl manufacturers responded by developing insulated vinyl. This offers a wider reveal to mimic the appearance of cement board. The insulation also adds rigidity that lets the siding perform well at 6- to 7-inch reveals—not to mention the reduced energy costs that come with siding insulation.
The main difference between these two options is appearance. There’s not much variation in vinyl siding designs because it must be able to contract and expand with changing temperatures. Fiber cement, though, is less affected by these forces. This allows it to be painted without worrying about frequent chips or cracks.
One other consideration when choosing between these options is the shape of your wall. Is it uniformly flat, or are there inconsistencies or waves? While vinyl can effectively cover walls that aren’t exactly flat, fiber cement must nail to the surface, so it works best on completely flat, smooth walls.
Also, vinyl siding does not rot, but the wood fibers within fiber cement can deteriorate. This means that special care must be taken while installing fiber cement to reduce chances or wood rot. Another difference is weight. Vinyl is lighter, which makes installation easier. Sometimes, this translates into reduced labor cost.
Hire a Pro or Go It Alone?
After you identify the ideal type of siding, it’s time to decide whether to hire a professional installer or do the job yourself. Generally speaking, it’s a smart idea to hire professional help, even if you have experience installing siding.
The process can be both dangerous and, if you make even a small mistake, can be costly. Climbing ladders while working on the project is extremely risky, and overlooking a small detail and cause major problems. With vinyl siding, for example, it’s important that all measurements are accurate. Also, all cuts must be perfectly straight. If these requirements aren’t met, there could be gaps in your siding that let in moisture, which creates an environment for mold to grow.
This is a mistake that’s both costly and dangerous. While it can be expensive and difficult to entirely remove mold from your home, mold and mildew present health threats. They can aggravate symptoms for people with allergies or respiratory issues. Ultimately, it’s just not worth taking the risk of installing your siding alone.